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3 Essential Life Skills Your Kids Need

Everyone wants their children to succeed, but how can parents make sure it happens? Classroom lessons are important, but there are additional skills that can make more difference than being a great speller. Here are three essential life skills and how your kids can acquire them.

Critical Thinking Skills

When you encourage independent thinking you’re teaching your kids to analyze information and form conclusions based on logic instead of emotion. Critical thinkers are better able to express themselves, become stronger leaders and more thoughtful followers. They are problem solvers and understand that coming to effective decisions takes time and work. You can help develop critical thinking by allowing them time to play outside without supervision, playing games together and asking questions that force them to think.

A Growth Mindset

Critical thinking goes hand-in-hand with a growth mindset. A growth mindset means your kids understand the value of learning new things. Failure isn’t punished but is seen as part of the learning process. Kids have to understand that success only comes through trial-and-error and hard work, not just natural talent. Kids without a growth mindset are likely to give up on new tasks as soon as they try things for the first time and aren’t automatically “good” at them. Praise your kids for effort, not just outcome to help build a growth mindset.

Self-Control and Focus

Finally, practicing self-control is a skill that helps build the other two. Learning and thinking both take time and directed energy. Help your kids learn self-control and focus by limiting screen time each day. Keep your home organized and work on a schedule. Set aside time for quiet activities that take thought and focus like a puzzle, an art project or just reading a book. Encourage delayed gratification as a practice of self-control.

These three skills contribute to success in and out of the classroom.

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